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Native American Legends

Legend of the Turtle

A Micmac Legend

Long ago turtle was the great story teller of all the birds and animals of Kluskap's land. During the summer evenings he had many friends who sat around and listened to his tales but during the day they avoided turtle for they had work to do. When the cold Winter came from the northland, most of the birds flew south to the home of the warm Summer and many of the animals hibernated deep underground. but Turtle did not know how to do this. He walked so slowly that the cold Winter soon caught up with him and he nearly froze. He was very cold and lonely..

When the next summer came turtle spoke to the geese about taking him to the south when winter came. The geese liked turtle and indeed he often had good stories but the geese loved to honk their own stories far and wide while they travelled and so they agreed to take him only if he didn't talk... Turtle agreed to this but the geese knew Turtle would forget so they carried turtle by his mouth on a stick and, of course, once off the ground he didn't dare open his mouth.

Turtle did not enjoy his stay in the land of the Summer It was too hot in his heavy shell and he could not find animals who were interested in his stories but he listened and learned new stories. The next summer when the geese brought him back to Kluskap's land though he had learned the secret of how turtles can hibernate.

If you find a turtle hibernating from the cold of the great Winter he will be deep under the soil going over his stories and patiently waiting for Spring.

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